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STOKING FIRE: Randall Terry's Campaign Platform

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Written by Eleanor Bader for RHRealityCheck.org - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry doesn’t believe prayer is enough to end abortion in the U.S. He believes in action.  A 1981 graduate of the unaccredited Elim Bible College, in 1985 he and then-wife Cindy Dean Terry began demonstrating outside Southern Tier Women’s Services in Vestal, New York.  In short order the pair escalated their protests to include a range of disruptive tactics, from blockading the building’s entrance to shouting so loudly that their taunts could be heard in the health center’s operating room.

For a short time—from the late 1980s and early 1990s—the “rescue” movement grew quickly and caused havoc at clinics throughout the country. Then, in 1994, after passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, it sputtered. Nonetheless, before it ended thousands of rescuers had been arrested, giving Terry the notoriety he continues to crave.

Indeed, in his quest for attention, Terry has proven himself to be a master of re-invention and both his personal and career lives have taken many turns. As a professional, he’s been a car salesman, a gospel and country singer, and a community organizer. He’s also morphed from fundamentalist Protestant to Roman Catholic. And now, the Tea Party activist and lifelong Republican has switched again, declaring himself a Democratic contender in 2012’s presidential race. “I don’t want to quibble with Palin, Huckabee, or Romney,” the 51-year-old told me by phone. “I want to throw body punches at Barack Obama.”

“Obama is the Massa and we’re his slave labor force,” Terry continues. “My platform respects life and liberty.”

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